(Bristol, Tenn.) March 23 -- P.J. Jones and the No. 74 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo head into Bristol after an uplifting run at Darlington Raceway last Saturday. Jones, who started a career high 13th, led for three laps in his...
(Bristol, Tenn.) March 23 -- P.J. Jones and the No. 74 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo head into Bristol after an uplifting run at Darlington Raceway last Saturday. Jones, who started a career high 13th, led for three laps in his rookie debut at "the track too tough to tame", but experienced an ill-handling racecar on the final run and finished a respectable, yet disappointing 27th. The qualifying position was the highest of the 2000 Rookie of the Year class. Jones is now fourth in Rookie of the Year points and closing fast.
The currently unsponsored BACE Motorsports team tested at Bristol Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. It was Jones first trip to the high-banked track in over five years. Jones finished 16th in the NASCAR Truck event in 1995. According to crew chief Billy Nacewicz, the test went very well and Jones adapted to the track very quickly. "I am impressed by how quickly P.J. got up to speed. Bristol is unlike any track he's ever raced on in the CART Series, so that just shows what kind of talent we have here," said Nacewicz.
Although the No.74 team is further down the standings (34th) than they would like to be, team owner Bill Baumgardner is pleased with the progress thus far. "It takes time to bring a team together. We learned that last year bringing in Tony Raines as a rookie. Now look at them, 13th in points and running up front every week. This marks P.J.'s first return to stockcars in nearly five years and he is adjusting to them better and better each race," said Baumgardner. "I think we are about to really show what we are capable of."
"This place can either be fun or frustrating," said 30-year-old Rookie, PJ Jones. "Things happen in a hurry here and if you think too long before reacting, you are already in the wreck. Instinct and patience keeps you running at Bristol and hopefully we'll have both in our favor on Saturday. At least everyone seems to behave somewhat during the day races here. It must have something to do with the lack of a full moon!"
"I think we are all starting to think alike as a team," Jones continued. "There is a learning curve whenever you bring people together for the first time and although we would like to be higher in the points, we've had good runs. Now we just need to finish them off as strong as we start."